“There are no accidental meetings between souls.” – Sheila Burke
Tsuna sometimes wondered if there was more to life than working odd jobs just to feel a bit useful.
Moving out of his mother’s house ended up being a mistake one way or another. Osaka was far different from Namimori, but if it got him away from his father who somehow managed to visit more often it was fine with him. Whatever h he and his father had were never sorted out. Blame it on Tsuna’s immaturity, but that man didn’t have the right to call himself a father. Though if his mother was happy, Tsuna could bear it.
“Yes, on Midosuji outside Chanel,” Tsuna said into his earpiece. “Yes, ma’am, I’ll be there. Ten minutes.”
As soon as the customer hung up, Tsuna sighed and pulled up his white mask, which was company policy. He resisted the urge to bang his forehead against the wheel. The light finally turned green before he turned to the next street. Midosuji could be seen in the distance with its brilliant, colorful illuminations lighting the night sky. It was a broad street that ran through Minami with several major luxury brands staking their claim everywhere. Restaurants, cafés, and boutiques were spread out as well, providing a more modern and touristy look.
Tsuna slowly drove around the streets, peering through the windshield for any signs of his client. Honestly he hated driving through Midosuji—too many people, too many lights, too many damn cars. He honked his horn when a van suddenly swerved in front of him.
“Kami, some people shouldn’t have a license,” he muttered under his breath.
When he finally drove up to Chanel, he surveyed the bustling sidewalks and customers that exited the large store. He could hear faint pop music playing inside, mingling with the pedestrians’ chatter in the air. Soon, a middle-aged woman dressed in some expensive clothing stepped out of the store and immediately strode towards his car. Tsuna pressed a button to have the door automatically open for her.
“Good evening, ma’am,” he said as she slid gracefully in the backseat.
He was only greeted with rustling shopping bags and a dismissive wave. The fragrance of her perfume made him wrinkle his nose. At least he had some air freshener with him. His boss never liked the cars smelling too strongly.
“Intercontinental Osaka,” the woman said, flipping her black hair over her shoulder.
“Of course, ma’am. It’ll take about fifteen minutes.”
She only gave him a noncommittal hum in response. Once they left Midosuji, Tsuna silently breathed out a sigh of relief. He thought he would’ve gone blind from all the lights. He heard his customer tapping through her phone, the bubbly sound effects breaking the car’s silence. Customers like her were easier to handle. As long as he didn’t drag them into some inane conversation, he’d live. It was bearable for the most part; even better when he wasn’t the best conversationalist.
“Oh, Kaito-kun!” the woman said. “I’m going back now, honey! Of course, I had fun!” She laughed. “Well, it’s a surprise. Did you miss me? I missed you, too. I hope you don’t mind me spending a little bit more than I intended to today.” She cooed. “You’re so sweet. Hmm? I’m in a cab. Don’t worry, Tomoko-chan recommended it to me. Well the driver looks harmless. Yes, I have it. I’ll use it if I have to. Of course, honey! I’ll call you when I’m there.” She made a small kissing sound. “Bye!”
Tsuna let that conversation filter through one ear and out the other. It was useful if he wanted to save whatever brain cells he had left. He continued driving straight before turning right onto a less busy street. This went on for a couple of minutes with him avoiding heavy traffic like the plague. Living in Osaka for three years was difficult but Tsuna would be damned if he didn’t know the place inside and out. He may have been Dame-Tsuna—and still was—, but if he tried harder than the average person, he could retain some stuff in his head. He was useless but he wasn’t stupid.
That that took time to get over with—okay, a long time. Tsuna sometimes wondered if his mother was really oblivious as she was or just dumb for a lack of better words. She was still his mother but he couldn’t help but wonder anyways.
“How much longer will it take?”
Tsuna straightened in his seat. “Ah, it will take five minutes, ma’am. I’m sorry.”
The woman sighed. “Can’t you go any faster?”
“I’m doing my best, ma’am. When we turn that street, it won’t be long until we reach the hotel.”
The woman just clicked her tongue and returned to her phone, ending the conversation. Tsuna restrained the urge to sigh when the light turned green. Thankfully, she was his last customer. He honestly wasn’t sure if he’d have the time (or energy) for a shower later. All he wanted to do was sleep. But then he remembered the shift he had at the supermarket the next morning and internally groaned.
He mentally shook his head. There was no use in complaining. He did that when he was younger and it only brought him more misery. He could prove that he wasn’t useless, even if it’d take a lifetime. Soon, the luxury hotel came into view. It was a tall, sophisticated building, the pinnacle of modernism in Osaka.
“I’ll drop you off at the main entrance, ma’am,” he said.
“You take card, right?” the woman said, shifting through her purse.
Tsuna stopped in front of the hotel’s entrance and patiently waited for the woman to swipe her credit card on the meter. He pressed a button to open the car door for her. “Have a good evening,” he said.
All he got was a barely audible hum of acknowledgement. When the woman safely entered the hotel building, Tsuna drove back onto the streets. He speed-dialed his boss’ number who picked up after the fourth ring.
“I just dropped off my last client, sir,” Tsuna said, leaning his head onto his fist at a red light.
With that, his boss hung up. Loosening his tie, Tsuna removed his earpiece and tossed it onto the passenger seat. He sighed, staring at the red light and pedestrians walking in front of him. He huffed when he glanced at the time. It was 1 AM? He honestly thought it was a little earlier than that. He jumped when the rear door suddenly opened behind him. “Um, I’m sorry but this taxi’s not—”
He squeaked when he came face-to-face with a gun.
Tsuna gaped at the young boy behind the weapon—Kami, it was real. How the heck did this boy own a gun in Japan? He looked like he was 8 or 9. And was he wearing a suit? Tsuna laughed nervously. “Um, kid, are you lost? Do you—”
He flinched when the boy cocked the trigger, the click sounding too loud in the silence. The boy’s dark eyes gleamed dangerously under his ridiculous fedora. “Drive,” he said.
The light turned green then and Tsuna unconsciously stepped on the gas. He may or may not have screamed when he nearly crashed into the car next to him. The other driver honked his horn at him while screaming curses from inside his vehicle.
“I’m sorry!” Tsuna said, swerving back into his lane.
The young boy clicked his tongue from the backseat. “Drive properly.”
Tsuna whimpered when he met the boy’s gaze in the rearview mirror. Despite his young age, the boy looked absolutely terrifying. Just what was his problem?
Please let this be a dream, Tsuna thought, driving onto the highway. I’m just dreaming. I probably just dozed off or something and—
“This isn’t a dream, Tsunayoshi.”
Tsuna squeaked. “H—How do you know my name?”
The boy shifted in his seat. “Your name tag. Turn on the next street.”
Tsuna forced his tongue to work. “Um, a—are you sure that you’re not lost? What about your parents? You could use my ph—”
Tsuna flinched when the boy redirected his gun back at him. No matter how many times he tried to think it was a toy, the more his stomach coiled with serious doubt.
“Keep your mouth shut and drive.”
Crap, he was listening to a 9-year-old kid like some sniveling coward. Suddenly Tsuna felt fourteen all over again and that was never a good feeling. But still, the kid had a gun. Maybe it was a toy…? Hopefully, please…
“This is real,” the boy said blankly.
Tsuna chewed on his lip as he turned right on a one-way street. Was this kid some kind of mind-reader or something? Or was he just being paranoid?
Tsuna yelped when the boy kicked the back of his seat with strength that no normal kid his age should even have. He banged his head against the wheel and gasped when he almost hit a parked car. His heart neatly skipped a beat when he heard his tires screech on the road.
“W—Why did you do that?” he said, his hands feeling numb.
“Keep your eyes on the road.”
Tsuna heard the window rolling down behind him and widened his eyes. He glanced at his side rearview mirror, almost having another heart attack when he saw the boy aim his gun at one of the smaller buildings. “What are you doing?” He flinched when he heard loud pops pierce the air in quick succession. “Kami, are you crazy?”
“Just drive. Turn left in 13 meters.”
“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Tsuna stepped on the breaks, his car coming to an abrupt halt. He looked over his shoulder. “Who are you? Why are you shooting? What are you even shooting at? How do you even have a gun?”
He cried out in pain when the boy suddenly yanked his hair and placed his gun underneath his chin. Tsuna gulped when he met the boy’s eyes. They looked more like dark amber up close. The boy betrayed nothing on his face, but his eyes were so cold it made Tsuna shiver. “I’m not going to repeat myself again,” the boy said. “Turn left in 13 meters.” He shoved Tsuna back and slightly rolled up the window. “I won’t mind adding you to my body count.”
Tsuna paled. Body count? Just what the hell was going on? Who was this boy? And did he have to choose his taxi? Tsuna glanced down before noticing a dark stain on the boy’s suit. “Y—You’re bleeding.” He cried out when the boy kicked his chair again. “Okay! I’ll drive!”
He started driving down the street again, which was eerily empty. A shiver tingled down his spine and he suddenly felt cold. What the hell was he just dragged into?
“Turn left!” the boy said.
Tsuna instantly swerved to the next street and flinched when another gunshot rang behind him. He was heading for a busier road, making him suck in a breath. They were going to draw attention and just—Why was this happening to him?
He screamed when a green-haired woman suddenly landed on the hood of his car, her feet on fire. Tsuna stepped on the brakes, sending her flying behind him. For a moment he could only hear his ragged breaths and heart thumping against his chest. Something warm trickled down his cheek. When he reached up to see what it was, he looked down to see his white gloves stained with blood. His breath hitched. He should leave and get the hell out of here but—
He turned around with wide eyes. “Kid?”
The backseat was empty, and the door was left open. Tsuna unbuckled his seatbelt with shaking hands and managed to exit his crushed cab. His boss was going to kill him. His legs felt numb and he stumbled a couple of times on the road. The streetlights guided his way through the empty streets. Tsuna looked around frantically to find any signs of the boy. He didn’t even know why he cared—the kid was insane and armed, but his bleeding heart just had to make an issue about it. Crap.
He winced when he tripped over his feet. His clumsiness just had to make itself known at the worst times. A distant crack made him tense. On autopilot, he stood up and dashed towards the sound. If that boy was hurt or dead by the time Tsuna got there, he’d never forgive himself no matter how capable the kid seemed. He was still a kid and Tsuna was the adult here.
“Why couldn’t he just take someone else’s cab?” he couldn’t help but cry out.
When he arrived at a dead-end street, Tsuna gasped when a burst of yellow and red fire clashed a few meters away. He fell to the ground as a small shockwave rippled through the area, making some buildings slightly shake. After the cloud of dust finally settled, he saw the boy resting the heel of his foot on the strange-looking woman, looking all the more intimidating despite his small stature. The boy said something to her but Tsuna couldn’t understand what he was saying. It sounded foreign.
Tsuna saw the woman’s hand twitch. She was still alive. He scrambled to his feet and opened his mouth but couldn’t say anything. What was he doing? That woman, whoever she was, was alive and breathing and human. Why was the boy trying to kill her? (Well, aside from the fact that she crushed Tsuna’s cab…)
Tsuna stiffened when a loud crack pierced the air. The sound rang painfully in Tsuna’s ears, making him stumble. He gaped when the boy looked up then, capturing his gaze. He looked a little…off. A moment of tense silence passed before the boy suddenly swayed on his feet. He gripped his bleeding side and tried walking towards another street with as much poise as he could.
“Wait!” Tsuna said, running towards him.
“Leave,” the boy said, his voice slightly strained. “Forget what you saw here.”
Tsuna hesitated. “Y—You’re hurt.”
The boy opened his mouth to retort but ended up falling over if Tsuna hadn’t caught him in time. For some reason, the boy was heavier than he looked and Tsuna struggled to keep him upright. Was the kid on steroids or something?
“You need to go to the hospital,” Tsuna said.
The boy scowled and shoved him away. Tsuna winced when he fell to the ground for the umpteenth time that day. Why was the boy so strong?
“Leave.” Tsuna tensed when the boy aimed his gun at his face. “Or you’ll join her.”
It took all of Tsuna’s willpower not to piss his pants or run away screaming. He looked at the boy’s side, grimacing at the larger stain of blood that seeped through the expensive fabric. His tongue felt heavy, but he forced himself to speak anyways.
“I—I can help you,” he said. “I’m not going to hurt you or anything. You need help.”
Whatever the boy wanted to say was cut short when his face slightly contorted in pain. Tsuna managed to catch him as he fell forward; his gun slipped from his slack hand and clattered to the ground.
Okay, Tsuna, the brunet thought. What are you thinking?
Tsuna pursed his lips. Right, since when had he ever thought things through? Now he was saddled with some weird foreigner boy bleeding out in his arms and a dead woman a meter or two away from him.
Also he was definitely going to get fired from his cab company.